The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. D. D. Kuupole has stated that the University of Cape Coast’s image has been enhanced as the leader of quality distance education in Ghana through the College of Distance Education (CoDE).
He therefore paid glowing tribute to the pioneers of Distance Education in UCC for the sacrifices they have made towards the realisation of what he described as “a big dream in the history of transformation of tertiary education in Ghana.”
Prof. Kuupole made these remarks when he chaired the handing-over ceremony at CoDE Conference Room. He commended Prof. George K. T. Oduro, the former Acting Provost of the College and Prof. John Nelson Buah, the incoming Acting Provost for championing the vision of the University in their previous portfolios. He urged them not to relent in their quest to spearhead initiatives that would propel UCC as a “Centre of Excellence”.
Delivering a speech at the function, Prof. Oduro recalled a remark he made when the then Director of CCE handed over to him. “Indeed, the shoes I am about to wear are very large adding, in spite of the arduous task ahead of me, I accepted the leadership mantle and its associated challenges” he stated. He noted that his predecessor, Mr. Albert Koomson had positioned CCE strongly for promoting access to distance learning in the country with 46 learning centres across the country with a student population of 36, 000.
Prof. Oduro indicated that in consultation with the Advisory Committee, the focus of distance education in the University was geared towards quality enhancement. “I envisioned to provide leadership that would create an enabling environment for making CoDE a College for excellence in promoting quality distance education in Ghana and beyond through Scholarship, Expansion and Quality,” he noted. To address the issue of quality, he said the Department of Quality Assurance and Enhancement has been created.
Under his leadership, Prof. Oduro said there has been an improvement in CoDE’s visibility nationally and internationally. He added that interaction with some students, personnel and stakeholders attest to improved relationship between students and staff. He said 13 staff and students were awarded scholarship to pursue various programmes in Ghana and abroad. 24 staff were sponsored to attend national and international conferences/seminars and workshops.
In terms of expansion, he said the number of study centres and the student population had increased to 74 and 51, 077 respectively in 2015 whiles Master’s Degree programmes by distance has been introduced. He said about 95% of server installation has been completed and therefore, the E-learning platform would soon been activated.
In his acceptance speech, Prof. John Nelson Buah gave the assurance that he would also work with the College Board and staff to consolidate the gains made by his predecessors. He called for the support of all staff to enhance the status of the college both locally and internationally, adding that “When we push CoDE to the highest height, our names would always be remembered in the history of the University and the country.